Ontario Teachers’ acquires New Zealand mobile tower company Spark

Ontario Teachers’ will acquire a 70% stake in the business for about $550 million.

  • Under the terms of the acquisition, Spark has entered into a 15-year agreement with TowerCo to secure access to existing and new towers
  • The agreement includes a commitment to building 670 sites over the next 10 years
  • The purchase of Spark adds to Ontario Teachers’ growing global portfolio of  infrastructure assets

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan said it will acquire a 70 percent stake in Spark, a New Zealand mobile towers company, for about $550 million.

Spark has 1,263 sites across New Zealand and under the terms of the acquisition it has entered into a 15-year agreement with TowerCo (with rights of renewal) to secure access to existing and new towers. Spark has also committed to building 670 sites over the next decade.

Ontario Teachers’ is a global investor with net assets of C$242 billion. It invests across assets classes to deliver retirement income for 333,000 current and retired teachers in Ontario.

Ontario Teachers’ invests significantly in New Zealand. Recent private equity investments there include Abano Healthcare Group and Asia Pacific Healthcare Group. It also holds a large portfolio of timberland assets in the country.

“The acquisition of a 70% stake in TowerCo is an ideal fit for our growing global portfolio of high-quality infrastructure assets,” said Bruce Crane, senior managing director and head of Asia Pacific infrastructure & natural resources at Ontario Teachers’. “This investment builds on our long track record of investing in superior businesses in New Zealand and will draw on our deep experience investing in digital infrastructure businesses globally. We look forward to working with the Spark New Zealand team to build and grow a leading business that will enable New Zealanders’ continued access to critical telecommunications services to meet their growing mobile demand needs over the long-term.”

“We are pleased to have formed this strategic partnership with Ontario Teachers’ – a high-calibre investor with a long-term partnering focus and significant experience managing a portfolio of infrastructure investments globally, including within Australia and New Zealand,” said Jolie Hodson, CEO at Spark.